In 2009, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation made a grant to the American Library Association’s Office of Information and Technology Policy (OITP) to support improved internet connections for public libraries in seven states, including Kansas.
The OITP’s overarching goal is to help state libraries develop and begin to implement strategies to ensure library broadband connections are sustainable. Specifically, the goal is to improve and sustain Internet connections in all public libraries at least 1.5 Mbps or faster wherever possible, and to continuously improve connection speeds as communities’ needs grow.
The State Library of Kansas established a Broadband Advisory Council to
- advise on a long-term growth and sustainability plan for broadband for Kansas libraries;
- serve as liaisons to partner and constituent groups;
- assist in forming additional partnerships; and
- advocate for the key role of libraries in local communities.
The vision for the Broadband Advisory Council:
EveryKansas public library will have broadband connectivity that provides equitable access to meet the needs of the community it serves.
The Broadband Advisory Council’s objectives include helping libraries:
- meet anticipated community needs;
- develop technology plans that anticipate these needs for better service;
- identify funding to support recommended connectivity speeds; and
- clarify the true value of library broadband connectivity.